Background: Clinical trial data suggest that antibiotics are not indicated for the treatment of acute non-group A beta hemolytic strep (non-GABHS) tonsillopharyngitis. Nevertheless patients are symptomatic and effective alternatives for its treatment are needed that have been evaluated in clinical trials.
Objective: To confirm that treatment with an extract of Pelargonium sidoides (EPs 7630) is superior to placebo for the treatment of non-GABHS tonsillopharyngitis in children.
Design: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
Setting: Six study sites in 4 pediatric and ENT primary care outpatient clinics.
Patients: One hundred forty-three children aged 6-10 years with non-GABHS tonsillopharyngitis present < or = 48 h, a negative rapid strep screen, a Tonsillopharyngitis Severity Score (TSS) > or = 8 points, and informed consent.
Intervention: EPs 7630 or placebo (20 drops tid) for 6 days.
Measurement: The primary outcome criterion was the decrease of the TSS from baseline (day 0) to day 4.
Results: The decrease of the TSS from baseline (day 0) to day 4 was 7.1 +/- 2.1 points under EPs 7630 (n = 73), and 2.5 +/- 3.6 points under placebo (n = 70). The covariate adjusted decrease was 7.0 +/- 2.4 points under EPs 7630, and 2.9 +/- 2.4 points under placebo. The 95% RCI for the difference between the groups was [2.7; 4.9] demonstrating a significant difference in efficacy of EPs 7630 compared to placebo (P < 0.0001). Adverse events (AEs) occurred in 15/143 patients (EPs 7630: 4/73 patient, placebo: 44/70) and were not related to the investigational medication.
Conclusions: EPs 7630 was superior compared to placebo for the treatment of acute non-GABHS tonsillopharyngitis in children. Treatment with EPs 7630 reduced the severity of symptoms and shortened the duration of illness by at least 2 days.